It is almost impossible to avoid conflict when you work in a distributed, remote workforce. For many of us, that’s a point of pride and a goal for our career. However, conflict can be exhausting and challenging to navigate at the best of times. At CPEhr and ModernHR, we understand that the key is to learn how to manage conflicts with your team or colleagues to keep the peace and protect the relationships that make your working environment worthwhile.
THE NEW CHALLENGES OF COMMUNICATING WITH WORK TEAMS REMOTELY.
Communication is a core part of any team project. When you have team members working in the same office, it’s easy to pass notes back and forth or stop at each other’s desks during lunch to chat.
Communicating across time zones and oceans can feel like one party will always be slow to respond while the other feels rushed. This can set off a communication problem that results in confusion and conflict. When remote workers feel overworked and burned out, stress and strain can occur in the team, affecting creativity, productivity, and collaboration to achieve the best results.
HOW TO NAVIGATE EMPLOYEE AND WORKPLACE DISPUTES
If a problem is emerging, talk about it with your team members immediately. The longer you wait, the more upset and frustrated your remote workers will likely become. You must be open and honest about problems when you work at a distance. If your team members cannot communicate how they feel, that can spark conflict and resentment.
Be honest about any other issues that come up in the workplace. For example, if a worker has been overworked or underappreciated for some time, but no one has said anything, their work performance might suffer.�
Your team will be able to think more clearly if they have time to calm down and discuss the conflict before making any decisions. This gives them a better idea of your priorities and, therefore, the best approach to resolving the problem.
EMPOWERING EMPLOYEES TO MANAGE CONFLICT WITH COLLEAGUES
It’s essential to show your team members that you trust them and that they can handle the situations that come up. Let workers know that you are always there for them if a problem arises. Help them decide what to do next, and lend an ear if they feel overwhelmed or confused.
An excellent way to empower your team is by giving them responsibility in making decisions about their work and how things are done.